Artist interview #13 - Natasha Durley

Artist interview #13 - Natasha Durley

2012 has been an action packed year for Natasha, seeing student life end with a Best of Year win at this year's D&AD Student Awards. She has also recently finished an internship with YCN and is now looking forward to 'making it' as a freelance illustrator. 

You can usually find her working with a mixture of charcoal, ink, pencil and paper cut outs, using the computer as a final editing tool. Vibrant colours reflect the playful side of her work which often celebrates the natural world, landscapes, botanical oddities and science.

Do you keep your style consistent or is it something that is always developing?

I try not to stick to one way of working in order to keep things energised and fresh. This enables me to experiment and keep my eyes peeled for interested new approaches. I think style is a more intuitive thing, like handwriting or a preference for colour. It probably develops over time, according to changing interests but its not usually a conscious decision. My work has evolved considerably over the last three years and it's exciting to think how different it will be in the future.

At the moment, I'm loving getting messy with graphite, indian ink and scraps of paper; scanning individual elements and compose them into a final digital image. Translating my work into ceramics or textiles would be a dream and something I am really interesting in exploring.

Where do you take inspiration from, beyond the work of other artists and illustrations?

I try to be inspired by as many things outside of contemporary illustration as possible. Natural History Museums are a favourite of mine, as well as car boot sales, aquariums and country walks. Just getting out and about can spark new ideas. After a few long boring car journey I became interested in all the unusual electricity pylons I was seeing. I was intrigued by their steel lattice structure which sparked my love affair with drawing houses on geometric stilts. It just shows how ideas can come from anywhere. I gather colour combinations, compositions and concepts into sketchbooks and this often feeds directly back into my final pieces.

Apart from illustration what do you do?

A few years back I started getting into circus skills and now really enjoy the odd bit of juggling, slack lining and even hula hooping! I love unusual bicycles, with my most recent addition being a custom loadstar tricycle. There's nothing quite like cycling along Bournemouth beach on a tricycle, whilst calling in at pubs along the way! I have a few crazy plans for it but until I find a larger workspace it will have to remain hibernating in storage. To help tackle a minor addiction to animal documentaries, I also enjoy snooping around junk shops and discussing the humorous perplexities of theoretical science.

Can you describe your working environment?

I've created a little pop-up studio in my living room. It's a bit of a DIY bodge job, with a quirky desk made from a slab of wood balanced on top of two filling cabinets, but its functional. I graduated from university last July, so I've been busy moving all my stuff back home. The boxes are gradually being unpacked and I'm slowly filling my workspace with all my little bits and pieces. I feel far more content surrounded by my tin toys and unusual junk shop finds. I have a very large plan chest which I love to pieces and helps protect all my prints and materials. Its top drawer is filled with cut out scraps paper covered in textures and drawings, which I can later use for future illustrations.


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